Reflections on Burnout - Vaidehi Joshi - Medium
9 min read
fairly easy
I can remember the exact moment that I realized the gravity of it. A coworker had sent me a link to an article from the Mayo Clinic on Slack. I skimmed the article until I reached a section called…
Over four months, my emotional, physical, and mental state steadily deteriorated. I ended my days feeling exhausted and completely drained. My partner told me that I was coming up the stairs after work every day "with my head in my hands", and urged me to think about why I was putting myself through so much when it was clear how miserable I was.

I was too tired to do anything in the mornings or evenings. I reached for a drink after work more often than I'd care to admit. My back, neck, head, and eyes throbbed with pain. I was chronically stressed all the time. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work, I would dream about work, and I was completely all-consumed by it. The anxiety surrounding my job even triggered my first ever flare up of eczema, an autoimmune skin condition that often reveals itself when your body creates an excess amount of cortisol as a side effect of emotional stress. I dreaded Sundays, because it meant that I had to return to work the next day. Three day weekends no longer felt refreshing. And a full year of pandemic life certainly didn't help with any of this, either.

I could feel that something was wrong — my body was manifesting this reality as a fact — but I kept trying, kept insisting to myself that I try to push through. I didn't listen to my body, nor did I listen to loved ones around me telling me that they could see how unhappy, frustrated, and exhausted I was.

I've worked hard before, I can work through this too, I tried to convince myself.

By the time April rolled around, I had started to lose faith that I would ever be able to keep up with the work or do enough to help make the company successful. I was becoming cynical, jaded, and deeply unhappy. I started questioning why I was doing what I was doing, and whether there was even any point to any of it. I was disillusioned, and wondered why I had joined the company in the first place. My conversations with coworkers were increasingly negative, and I felt…
Vaidehi Joshi
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